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Chapter 16 Politics and Reform

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1 Chapter 16 Politics and Reform
Section 1 Stalemate in Washington

2 A Campaign to Clean Up Politics
Under the spoils system, or patronage, government jobs went to supporters of the winning party in an election. A movement began to reform civil service.

3 Stalwarts and Halfbreeds
Rutherford B. Hayes attacked the practice of patronage. Stalwarts – Republicans opposed to reform. Halfbreeds – Civil Service reformers

4 Election of 1880 Republican candidates were James Garfield (halfbreed) for president and Chester Arthur (stalwart) for vice-president.

5 James Garfield Garfield was assassinated a few months into his presidency. Killed by a Stalwart who wanted a civil service job through the spoils system.



8 The Pendleton Act 1883 – The civil service reform act allowed the president to decide which federal jobs would be filled according to rules set up by a bipartisan Civil Service Commission. Candidates compete through exams for jobs.

9 Two Parties, Neck and Neck
Major reason that few policies were introduced in the 1870s and 1880s was because the Democrats had control of the House and Republicans controlled the Senate. Both were well organized. Elections b/w were very close. (Rep. won 4)

10 Democrats Reclaim the White House
Republicans remained divided over reform in the election of 1884. Democrats nominated NY Gov. Grover Cleveland, a reformer who opposed Tammany Hall. Republicans nominated James G. Blaine.

11 Cleveland Blaine

12 Democrats Reclaim ctd…
Major issue was corruption in gov’t. Voters focused on morals of candidates. Republican reformers (Mugwumps), disliked Blaine and left for the Dem. Party. They didn’t like Blaine’s connection with the Credit Mobilier Scandal.

13 Democrats Reclaim… Cleveland admitted to having fathered a child 10 years earlier, but was supported for his honesty. Blaine tried to persuade Roman Catholics to vote Rep. because his mother was Irish Catholic. Cleveland won.

14 Final Vote Count

15 A President Besieged by Problems
Many strikes occurred during Cleveland’s administration. Biggest being the Haymarket Square Riot.

16 Interstate Commerce Commission
Small businesses and farmers became angry at railroads because they paid high rates for shipping goods, but large corporations were given rebates, or partial refunds, and lower rates for shipping goods.

17 ICC ctd… Both Dem. & Rep. believed that gov’t shouldn’t interfere w/ corporations property rights. 1886 – Wabash v. Illinois – state can’t resrict the rates that the Wabash RR charged for traffic b/w states because only the fed. gov’t could regulate interstate commerce.

18 ICC ctd… 1887 – Cleveland signed the Interstate Commerce Act, which created a Interstate Commerce Commission. Limited RR rates to what was “reasonable and just”. Not very effective due to its reliance on the courts.

19 Republicans Regain Power
1888 Rep. candidate was Benjamin Harrison. Given large contributions by industrialists who wanted tariff protection. Dem. candidate was Cleveland. He was against high tariffs.

20 1888 Final Popular & Electoral Vote

21 Republicans Regain Power
As a result of the 1888 election, Rep. gained control of both Houses and the White House. Rep. passed: McKinley Tariff – cut tariff rates on some goods, but increased the rates of others. New pension law passed in 1890 for veterans worsened the fed. deficit. Sherman Antitrust Act – made trusts illegal. (Wasn’t enforced).

22 End of Section 1

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